Interview: DS catches up with DC Fallout to discuss new album and the punk scene in general

Interview: DS catches up with DC Fallout to discuss new album and the punk scene in general

If you haven’t heard of them yet, DC Fallout is a political skate punk band from Los Angeles that is quickly grabbing the attention of the local punk scene.  The band is about to release their debut full-length, Retreat, on Felony Records and Dying Scene was able to catch up with Scott (vocalist) and Mike (guitarist) for a little Q&A.

Read the full interview here.

DS: Hey guys, for starters, can you tell our readers how you guys got together to form the band?

Scott (Lead Vocalist) : Hi Lauren, nice to meet you (again). Love Dying Scene, and stoked to be a part of it! Yeah, Mike and I originally formed the band in Milwaukee, in late 2004. We were both going to school there at the time and didn’t have any music projects going on, so we decided to start jamming together in my smelly-ass basement with guitarist, roommate extraordinaire, Ryan Thimmig. We played a handful of shows and put out a rough, DIY record in Summer of 2006, then promptly broke up soon after, filling my closet with cds. I moved out to L.A. in the Spring of ’07 and started singing for Raised Under Reagan. About a year later, Mike moved out here to play guitar with the band. We played a handful of shows, but after a few months a couple of the founding members of the band decided they couldn’t hack it, and they quit. Instead of looking for another project, I took up guitar and started writing music with Mike again under our old moniker. We found Earl on Craigslist and somehow tricked him into thinking we were good musicians, so he kept showing up to rehearsals. Ryan Cox is the new guy. He joined up last January, with super long hair, but its short now.

DS: So you guys are originally from Milwaukee. How would you say the L.A. scene is different? What has your experience in L.A. been like so far?

Mike (Guitarist): Milwaukee was just too small. When we played back in Wisconsin there were only a handful of active bands and even less venues. L.A.’s got a much stronger scene in that respect, but honestly, we’re not really into the Los Angeles/Hollywood scene. Don’t get us wrong, there are some phenomenal bands in LA, but the scene is weak. Venues are more interested in making a buck off of young musicians via pay to play scams instead of consistently booking quality bands. Our experience has taught us that playing in the South Bay or Long Beach is much more rewarding than some bullshit gig on the Sunset Strip. Back in Wisconsin we thought LA was the Mecca of punk rock, but it’s just not true. Shows outside of Los Angeles are remarkably more cool.

DS: Your new album “Retreat” will be out June 8th. I’ve had a chance to listen to it and I must say, it’s quickly becoming one of my new favorite albums. Your songs talk about some serious topics such as the polarization of American politics, consumerism, proposition eight, religion etc. Overall what would you say is most the important message that you’re trying to convey with your music?

Scott (Vocals): Really glad to hear that, thanks for the kind words. We spend a lot of time on the lyrics to our songs to make sure that we’re actually saying something, instead of regurgitating the same old punk rock cliches like “down with the system” or “fuck the government.” Sure that stuff can be fun, but in the end its just rabble rousing… there’s no real substance. We’re not ever gonna tell you how to think, we’re just gonna tell you how it is, to the best of our knowledge.

Mike (Guitarist): Everyone loves to point the blame at the government before pointing the finger at themselves. While of course the US government is a big part of the problem, so are we! I genuinely hope people listen to the music and challenge themselves to figure out what they can do to make the world a better place. It’s a naively altruistic viewpoint, but I’d be happy if we convinced just one person to simply recycle.

DS: It’s great to know that there are still bands out there with something to say. How do feel about the current state of punk rock or just music in general? What does punk mean to you?

Scott (Vocals): I think punk rock still promotes individuality on the whole, but a lot of people are still missing the big picture. There’s a whole generation of kids out there who only associate ‘punk’ with fast drums and loud guitars. Then there’s the older generation who won’t stop talking about the 80’s, and how ‘Punk is dead.’ Punk isn’t dead, it’s just evolved. The late ’90’s was very prosperous for the U.S., and that’s probably responsible for the happy-go-lucky wave of pop-punk bands that took center stage during that time. Now things are different: the economy is shit, unemployment is crazy-high, elections are more polarizing than ever, and that same generation is feeling the affects for the first time…I think the new punk bands that are products of this state of affairs are gonna kick ass.

Mike (Guitarist): Defining what is ‘punk’ and ‘not punk’ is always tricky, but I’d say punk is all about questioning authority and what you’re being told. I think it’s also about rebelling against the norms that society expects you to live by. Overall, I think many bands get caught up in trying to prove how ‘punk’ they are. We don’t really care what we’re labeled as or how ‘punk rock’ we are.

DS: This will be your first full-length album. What was the recording and song-writing process like for you guys? What was your favorite and least favorite part of the entire process?

Mike (Guitarist): Yeah, we’re all really excited. We’ve wanted to release many of the songs for quite sometime, but our progress kept being delayed by our old drummer. To finally have it all finished and released is a great feeling. Recording for me is always tedious and often really boring. Although many band videos make the recording process seem exciting, it’s pretty mundane until you start mixing. It’s cool to hear the parts come together as a whole, but listening to drum tracks for 12 hours really blows. Easily the best part of the process is when you finally listen to the finished product for the first time. For me it’s always a very rewarding feeling. Overall, we think John Montes at Small City Studios did a great job recording and mixing the album.

Scott(Vocals): I like recording. It calls for long hours sometimes, but I’m sort of an audiophile so I dig it. As for the writing, half of the songs have been around for over year, the other half was written mostly during a short hiatus we took when we were looking for a drummer. I usually compose the bulk of a new song first, then I bring it to the guys and we hammer away until it makes sense to everyone. Most of the tunes on the record were written this way, while Mike and I co-wrote most of the lyrics. This is technically our second album, but every aspect about the band has changed in the years since, so it feels like our first record.

DS: What influences your musical and song-writing style? What bands do you admire the most?

Scott (Vocals): We all have our own unique taste, but we do have many similar influences. Bad Religion, NOFX, Propagandhi, This is a Standoff, Hot Water Music…basically it’s a who’s who of Epi-Fat sounding bands. As for admiration, I admire any band who worked hard for what they have.

Dying Scene (Lauren): You’re planning to tour across the United States. Do you have any bands lined up to go on tour with you? If you could tour with any band who would it be? What are you most looking forward to about touring?

We’re just going out ourselves this time around. We’re playing several shows with some great bands, Random Orbits and No Bueno! immediately come to mind. If I could tour with any band, it would probably be This Is A Standoff. They rock, and the dude with the beard looks like he’s got some good stories. The part I like most about touring is playing shows in places I’ve never visited before.

Mike (Guitarist): A long time ago my personal goal was to go on tour with Bad Religion, and I still feel the same today. It would be great to be on tour with any of the bands that have greatly influenced me musically and personally, but let’s face it, the majority of those bands aren’t getting any younger. Who knows, but Scott’s right, touring with This Is A Standoff would be rad.

DS: Thanks, guys! The new album is solid and it was a pleasure talking with you. Is there anything else you’d like to add before I wrap this up?

Mike (Guitarist): Thanks for having us Lauren! Anytime! We’d just like to say thanks to all the people who helped this album come out and were patient with us when we spent hours upon hours in the studio before and during the production. Big ups to Felony Ron and our new label Felony Records and Ricardo Luna is bad at Fifa 10. That’s all I got.

Scott (Vocals): Thank you Lauren! Wish ya the best, and keep rockin!

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